Dream Theories - Aristotle
That the sensory organs are acutely sensitive to even a slight qualitative difference [in their objects] is shown by what happens in the case of mirrors dream; a subject to which, even taking it independently, one might devote close consideration and inquiry. At the same time in the interpret dream it becomes plain from them that as the eye [in seeing] is affected [by the object seen], so also it produces a certain effect upon it. If a woman chances during her menstrual period to look into a highly polished mirror, the surface of it will grow cloudy with a blood-coloured haze. It is very hard to remove this stain from a new mirror, but easier to remove from an older mirror.
As we have said before, the cause of this lies in the fact that in the act of sight there occurs not only a passion in the sense organ acted on by the polished surface, but the organ, as an agent, also produces an action, as is proper to a brilliant object. For sight is the property of an organ possessing brilliance and colour. The eyes, therefore, have their proper action as have other parts of the body. Because it is natural to the eye to be filled with blood-vessels, a woman's eyes, during the period of menstrual flux and inflammation, will undergo a change, although her husband will not note this since his seed is of the same nature as that of his wife. This is a very important way to interpret dreams, to identify the symbols under the surface.
The surrounding atmosphere, through which operates the action of sight, and which surrounds the mirror also, will undergo a change of the same sort that occurred shortly before in the woman's eyes, and hence the surface of the mirror is likewise affected. And as in the case of a garment, the cleaner it is the more quickly it is soiled, so the same holds true in the case of the mirror. For anything that is clean will show quite clearly a stain that it chances to receive, and the cleanest object shows up even the slightest stain.
Interpret dreams aristotle part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5 part 6 part 7 part 8 part 9 part 10 part 11 part 12
On dreams by aristotle, 350 bc.
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